Award-winning environmentalist to lead Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Feature story - March 17, 2008
Greenpeace Southeast Asia has appointed Von Hernandez as its new Executive Director.

Von Hernandez photographed at the Smokey Mountain dumpsite in Manila for TIME Magazine’s Heroes of the Planet 2007 edition. Hernandez, who was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003, now holds the post of Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

  One the region's most prominent environmentalists, Mr Hernandez is known for his campaigns exposing and stopping waste trade and waste incineration in Southeast Asia. For this work, he was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for grassroots environmentalists, in 2003. Hernandez is the first Filipino to win the prestigious environmental award whose previous  recipients include Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai. More recently, Hernandez has been cited as one of Time Magazine's Heroes of the  Environment 2007, also for his work exposing the economic pitfalls, and environmental and public health hazards of toxics pollution from waste  incineration.

As an environmental activist of more than fifteen years, Mr Hernandez has initiated a number of environmental campaigns and projects in the Philippines such as the campaign for the rehabilitation of the Pasig River, and the crusade to clean-up toxic contaminated sites in the former US military bases in Clark and Subic. He is also a founder and key driver of various environmental initiatives and coalitions both at the national and international levels including the Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA), Waste Not Asia,  Lakbay Kalikasan, the Eco-Waste coalition, the Sagip Pasig Movement,  the People's Task Force for Bases Clean-up, and Task Force Total Commercial Log Ban.

  Mr Hernandez's long involvement with Greenpeace began in 1995  with his work as coordinator for Greenpeace International's Toxics Campaign in Asia. He is a board member of Greenpeace India, and served as Campaigns Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia for four years prior to his new appointment as Executive Director.

  Announcing Mr Hernandez's appointment, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Board Chair, Dr Opart Panya said he brought to Greenpeace a wealth of campaign

  experience in addition to his strategic organizational skills.

"Von's leadership will reinvigorate Greenpeace Southeast Asia's regional campaigns to defend the environment from the threats of climate change, deforestation, pollution, and  genetic contamination. We are especially pleased that one of his major priorities will be to lead the fight against climate change which will adversely affect the poorest nations in the region. With Von, Greenpeace will remain true to its core values of non-violent direct action, but at the same time he will bring innovation and imagination to our high-profile regional campaign and political work," said Dr Panya.

  Greenpeace Southeast Asia was formally established on March 1, 2000 and has offices in Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta.

  Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

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